NOTE: Evan Silva of Pro Football Talk and RotoWorld joins Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and former NFL scout Kelron Sykes Monday at 6 PM EDT to talk about which free agents the Browns should pursue. Join us on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
The free agent period begins at 4PM EDT Tuesday. Like all teams the Browns have several holes that could be best filled with a veteran free agent rather than a rookie. Unlike other teams the Browns have more than 50 million dollars to spend. They will not use all of it because some will be necessary to pay the rookies and to take care of critical 2015 free agents. Here is my position list for the Browns in free agency.
Last week the Browns gave Restricted free agent ILB Craig Robertson a qualifying offer. That should allow him to stay in Cleveland. However, with the release of D’Quell Jackson, the Browns need a fast young veteran to play along side the one year vet. Robertson is not effective at pass coverage. The Browns have been vulnerable for years to tight ends and running backs catching passes. The only way to solve that is by bringing in a quality veteran ILB.
The team needs a veteran to pair with all pro Joe Haden. While Buster Skrine does his best, he is not big enough to cover tall wide receivers. He is much better covering slot receivers that tend to be much smaller. If the Browns get a solid veteran, the pass D would improve greatly.
Whether T.J. Ward resigns or not, the team has given up way too many big plays because the free safety position is so weak. The Browns need a true center fielder that can read the play and make up for any lost coverages.
When the Browns traded for WR Davone Bess but a combination of a bad case of dropsy and serious mental issues made him useless. The young WR crew will get younger with at lease one rookie from the draft. They need a solid leader to show them what is required for them to develop. Coaches can do part of that job but a vet in the locker room is critical.
The return of C Kevin Mack somewhat uncertain despite the transition tag. If he leaves the plan is to move G John Greco to C. He is below average at G and will be less effective at C. The other guard is projected to be Jason Pinkston. He is still recovering from a life threatening medical issue. He was much less effective last season than before the injury. The Browns could use a vet G and need to draft another to provide depth.
I guess I am the only one that is not satisfied with the job that Mitchell Schwartz did at RT last year. He does not have the feet to pass protect and is fooled by the end/tackle stunt over and over. There are a couple of quality vet RT candidates. The Browns need to sign one.
I do not recommend getting a veteran running back in free agency. Even a back that is 26 or 27 will have only a couple of years of usefulness. If they sign one on a single year deal, that would be fine. I am also not in favor of a vet QB. The Browns have a vet QB in Brian Hoyer. They need to add a potential starter and a developmental guy in the draft.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
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